10 Years at the Helm of Fosse Gallery – Sharon Wheaton
Sharon, June 2016 and Sharon’s first week at Fosse, 1997
Fosse Gallery is a prestigious art gallery in the picturesque town of Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswolds. Founded in 1980, the Fosse Gallery is often described as one of the most important UK art galleries outside of London.
The current owner, Sharon Wheaton, continues to stage a diverse programme of one man shows and mixed exhibitions for contemporary British artists. The last ten months alone has seen a Mixed Exhibition of Royal Academicians, a sellout solo exhibition for Lydia Corbett (Picasso’s famous muse), a highly acclaimed exhibition for young war artist Charlie Calder-Potts, and only last month a major retrospective of the work of Ursula McCannell (d.2015).
The gallery continues to thrive and on 1st July 2016, Sharon will celebrate ten years at the helm.
So Sharon, that’s quite an achievement as owner of Fosse Gallery. What is your proudest moment to date?
The continuation of Fosse, because we could so easily have lost it. You see, the gallery is loved by so many people and has been a meeting place for artists and art lovers for the last 36 years.
Whilst you’ve been owner of Fosse Gallery for ten years, you’ve actually been involved with the gallery for even longer haven’t you?
I started coming to the gallery when I was a teenager with my mum & bought my first painting here. I became the gallery assistant in 1997 and learnt everything from the legendary dealer Don Steyn.
When and why did you develop an interest in art?
I was lucky enough to be brought up with paintings all around the house, which came, believe it or not, from the Fosse Gallery. I remember when I was 12yrs old I went to an exhibition at the Royal Academy for Stanley Spencer RA and it was totally wonderful quite risqué really for a 12yr old, but I’ve never forgotten it!
What training did you undertake?
With theatrical tendencies and an Equity card at 16yrs of age, I went to the Royal Welsh Academy of Music & Drama when I was 17yrs of age and got a First Class Honours degree in Performing Arts. So, as an actress at heart, exhibitions at Fosse are always showtime!
What was your first painting purchase?
I bought an Ursula McCannell painting from Fosse when I was in my early twenties. Everyone was busy investing in interlined curtains and the such, but I borrowed money in order to buy this beautiful and very grown up painting of a woman sitting in a mysterious landscape with two children by her side. It simply spoke to my heart.
Is there an artist in you?
No chance! I’d be completely terrified! After being surrounded by beautiful paintings all my life I’d be sure to make a fool of myself!
Can you name some of your favourite exhibitions that you’ve staged at Fosse Gallery?
I guess the very first exhibition I staged in September 2006 because it proved to me and everybody else that I could do it. The success of the Welsh Exhibition in 2011 was heartfelt as I’d wanted to stage this show for so long, and it also brought to all our attention the wonderful work of Welsh artists.
Can you name some of your favourite paintings?
I love everything by Ingres and Stanley Spencer. To pull out just one or two from my head, I particularly love Ingres’ portrait of Mademoiselle Caroline Riviere and Spencer’s The Last Supper.
What should you look for if you’re thinking of buying art?
That it simply speaks to you - no more, no less.
To what do you attribute Fosse Gallery’s continuing success?
Fosse Family – a family that so many people contribute to; the loyalty and talent of all our artists, the wonderful team of people that help put the show together 365 days of the year, to all the gallery supporters and the wonderful times and journey through art we share.
An Oscar winning film producer of course!
For more information on Fosse Gallery, browse our website or visit the gallery itself in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire.
‘10 Years at the Helm’ – Summer Exhibition of Fosse Gallery Artists
Click here to view the Exhibition>>>
‘The Windrush at Burford’, Victor Richardson
Private View: Sunday 3rd July, 11am – 4pm.
The Exhibition continues until 27th August.
© Fosse Gallery Fine Art